Covid-19 has killed more than 4.3M people and infected over 204M globally. Here are all the coronavirus-related developments for August 10:

People queue to receive a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at an NHS vaccination centre, in London, UK on August 8, 2021.
People queue to receive a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at an NHS vaccination centre, in London, UK on August 8, 2021. (Reuters)

Tuesday, August 10

UK records highest daily Covid-19 death toll since March

The UK has reported 146 new deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, the highest daily total since March 12, as the impact of last month's surge in cases fed through into fatalities, government data showed.

The number of new cases reported fell to 23,510 from 25,161 a day earlier — less than half the peak of 54,674 recorded on July 17, shortly before most social distancing measures were removed in England.

UK has suffered 130,503 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, the second-highest total in Europe after Russia and one of the highest in the world.

Germany to end free Covid tests to boost jab take-up

Germany will end free coronavirus tests in October, regional leaders and the federal government agreed, in a push to incentivise more people to get vaccinated.

Covid-19 tests or proof of vaccination or recovery will be required to access facilities including restaurants, cinemas and gyms, in areas where infection rates rise above a certain threshold.

From October those who refuse to get jabbed will have to pay to prove they are infection-free, or risk being shut out.

Portugal approves vaccines for children 12-15

Portugal is expanding its Covid-19 vaccine rollout to all children between the ages of 12 and 15.

The General Directorate for Health’s announcement came after days of uncertainty about the move. 

Authorities initially limited shots in that age group to children with chronic illnesses.

Officials said the hesitancy was due to a lack of data, but Director General for Health Graca Freitas said studies in the European Union and the United States have dispelled doubts in Portugal.

Classes are set to resume in Portugal's schools in about four weeks.  Officials estimate there are just over 400,000 children in the 12-15 age group.

Israel reports more than 6,000 new virus cases

Israel has reported more than 6,000 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily increase since February.

Israel rolled out one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns starting late last year, but in recent weeks has been battling a surge in new cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.

Authorities have ramped up travel restrictions and restored mask mandates for indoor settings.

Nigeria to resume Covid vaccinations on August 16

Nigeria will restart Covid-19 inoculations on August 16 after taking delivery of 4 million doses of Moderna vaccine, with shipments of Johnson & Johnson shots also due imminently, the head of the primary healthcare agency said.

Nigeria has so far vaccinated only a tiny fraction of its population of 200 million, largely due to a lack of supply. The latest data, in June, showed that 2 million people had received one dose and 700,000 had received two.

The rollout of vaccines was halted on July 9 because supplies had run out.

South Korea reports more than 2,000 new Covid-19 cases, highest daily tally yet

South Korea has recorded more than 2,000 new coronavirus infections in the last 21 hours, Yonhap News Agency reported, an almost 50 percent increase from the previous day and a new record high.

By 1200 GMT (9PM local), South Korea had logged 2,021 new coronavirus cases for the day so far, Yonhap reported, citing health authorities and local governments. 

Mexico says to receive up to 8.5M Covid-19 vaccines from US

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has said the US government will in the coming weeks send Mexico 3.5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by drugmaker Moderna, as well as up to 5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Italy reports 31 coronavirus deaths, 5,636 new cases

Italy has reported 31 coronavirus-related deaths against 22 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 5,636 from 4,200.

Delta variant brings deadly challenge for China

China's cases hit a seven-month high, after a cluster at a test site helped drive up numbers as the Delta variant challenges Beijing's grip on the pandemic.

State media has described the current outbreak -- which has sparked local lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions -- as the most severe since the virus emerged in the central city of Wuhan.

Authorities had brought domestic infections down to virtually zero, allowing economic activity to rebound albeit with tight border restrictions.

Unvaccinated Germans face more tests

Germany needs to increase testing and boost vaccinations to avoid another lockdown, the conservative candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor said , before government talks to curb a rise in new cases.

Less than seven weeks before a federal election, Merkel and leaders of the 16 federal states will try to agree on measures to avoid a new wave of infections, driven by the spread of the Delta variant, and avert unpopular restrictions.

"We want to and will test more to avoid a new lockdown," Armin Laschet told the North Rhine-Westphalia assembly.

Hoping to become chancellor after a Sept. 26 election, Laschet is desperate to avoid new restrictions and said Germany should introduce incentives to encourage more people to get vaccinated and also ramp up compulsory testing.

Russia reports 21,378 new cases

Russia has reported 21,378 new cases, including 1,811 in the city of St Petersburg, taking the official national case tally to 6,491,288 since the pandemic began.

Officials also confirmed 792 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours.

Vaccines mandatory for US military

Members of the US military will be required to get the vaccine beginning next month under a plan laid out by the Pentagon and endorsed by President Joe Biden. In memos distributed to all troops, top Pentagon leaders said the vaccine is a necessary step to maintain military readiness.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the mid-September deadline could be accelerated if the vaccine receives final FDA approval or infection rates continue to rise.

“I will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon" licensure by the Food and Drug Administration "whichever comes first,” Austin said in his memo sent Monday, warning them to prepare for the requirement.

East Timor detects first domestic transmission of Delta variant

East Timor has recorded its first case of community transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant, raising concerns by its health ministry about a possible spike.

Genomic sequencing by Australia's Doherty Institute in the first week of August found that of 27 samples taken in the country's Ermera region from people infected with the coronavirus, 12 were of the Delta variant.

Ermera has the highest number of active cases and lowest vaccination rate in East Timor, which borders Indonesia, where the Delta varian t has been fuelling one of Asia's worst coronavirus epidemics.

Australian regulator grants provisional approval for Merck's treatment

Australia's pharmaceutical regulator has granted provisional approval to Merck & Co's antiviral treatment Molnupiravir. 

Austria to start booster shots in October

Austria plans to start vaccine booster shots on October 17, nine months after the first group of people to get the jabs received their second dose, the country's health minister said.

The first wave included vulnerable people in nursing homes and medical personnel, Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein told broadcaster ORF in an interview.

With a population of 8.9 million, Austria has logged 659,000 confirmed cases and more than 10,500 deaths from the disease since the pandemic began last year.

France's Martinique island imposes tougher lockdown

France's overseas territory of Martinique will enter a tougher lockdown for three weeks to tackle the outbreak on the West Indian island, a local government official said on Twitter.

Authorities in Martinique also advised tourists to leave the island.

Martinique had already imposed an evening curfew but the tougher lockdown, set to start from 7pm, will shutter shops selling items that are not essential, close beaches and clamp down on people' s movements.

The French health ministry said 240 health workers would on Tuesday fly to Martinique and another overseas territory, Guadeloupe, to reinforce local staff as infections overwhelm hospitals on the two Caribbean islands.

Fake vaccine cards overwhelm US colleges

As the delta variant sweeps across the US, a growing number of colleges and universities are requiring proof of vaccination for students to attend in-person classes. But the new mandate has opened the door for those opposed to getting the vaccine to cheat the system, according to interviews with students, education and law enforcement officials.

Both faculty and students at dozens of schools interviewed by The Associated Press say they are concerned about how easy it is to get fake vaccine cards.

Across the internet, a cottage industry has sprung up to accommodate people who say they won’t get vaccinated for either personal or religious reasons.

An Instagram account with the username “vaccinationcards” sells laminatedvaccination cards for $25 each. A user on the encrypted messaging app, Telegram, offers “COVID-19 Vaccine Cards Certificates,” for as much as $200 apiece.

India's daily cases near five-month low

India has reported 28,204  infections over the last 24 hours, the lowest since March 16, according to government data.

India's overall case load touched 32 million, the health ministry data showed. 

Overall deaths in the country increased by 373 overnight, pushing the tally to 428,682.

Bangladesh vaccinating Rohingya refugees amid virus surge

Bangladesh's government and aid agencies have started vaccinating Rohingya refugees as a virus surge raises health risks in the sprawling, cramped camps where more than 1 million people who fled Myanmar are sheltering.

The highly transmissible delta variant is driving an infection surge across Bangladesh, with around 20,000 infections and 200 deaths recorded so far in Cox’s Bazar district, the southern region bordering Myanmar where the 34 refugee camps are located.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said a national positivity rate of around 30% indicates the spread of the virus is much higher, especially with cramped conditions and the risks faced by many people living in the refugee camps.

Germany's virus cases rise by 2,480

The number of confirmed virus cases in Germany increased by 2,480 to 3,794,429, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

 The reported death toll rose by 19 to 91,803, the tally showed.

Delta boosting new clusters in China

China has reported 143 new cases on the mainland , up from 125 cases a day earlier.

China's latest clusters are mainly driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, officials have said.

Among the new confirmed infections, the highest number China has reported since January 20, 108 were locally transmitted, up from 94 a day earlier, while the remainder were imported from abroad, the National Health Commission (NHC) said.

Arkansas reports new record for hospitalisations

Arkansas set a new record for the number of people in the state hospitalised as its surge continued.

The state reported its  hospitalisations rose by 103, its biggest one-day increase, to 1,376. The state's previous record during the pandemic for  hospitalisations was in January when it reported 1,371 virus patients in the hospital.

The Department of Health reported that there are only eight intensive care unit beds available in the state. There are 509  patients in ICUs around the state and 286 on ventilators.

Japan's PM thanks people for safe Olympics during pandemic

Japan's prime minister has  thanked people for helping the country safely hold the Olympics despite the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.

He noted the Games were delayed by a year and held under tight restrictions, but "I believe we were able to fulfill our responsibility as the host nation,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, thanking the people for their understanding and cooperation.

The 17-day Summer Olympics were played mostly without spectators. Athletes stayed in an isolation bubble, quickly donned masks off their field of play and had to leave Japan soon after their competitions ended.

Australia's outbreak expands, new cases in Melbourne

Australia's Victoria state has reported a slight rise in new cases, raising the prospect of an extended lockdown in Melbourne as officials battle to contain a Delta strain outbreak.

State officials reported 20 new cases, up from 11 a day earlier, and added dozens of new venues to a list of virus-exposed sites in Melbourne, including cafes, supermarkets and fuel service stations.

In line with recent trends, and worrying officials, 15 of the cases were in the community while infectious. Health officials have said the number of people who are in public while infectious needs to be close to zero before lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne are lifted.

Melbourne's lockdown is currently scheduled to end on Thursday and Sydney's at the end of the month.

New South Wales officials expanded strict stay-home rules to include two regions near the Queensland border, Byron Bay and Tamworth, late on Monday after visits by infectious people from the city.

With just over 36,600 cases and 939 deaths, Australia has handled the pandemic much better than many other developed economies.

But the fast-moving Delta strain has thrown Australia's reopening plans in disarray. Economists expect the lockdowns in its two largest cities to have tipped the country's $1.5 trillion economy into a second recession in as many years.

Mexico records 6,513 coronavirus cases, 270 more deaths

Mexico has recorded 6,513 more confirmed cases and an additional 270 deaths, bringing the total confirmed number of cases to 2,978,330 and the overall death toll to 244,690.

The government has said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher, and separate data published earlier this year suggested the actual death toll is at least 60 percent above the confirmed figure.

Brazil reports 411 deaths in 24 hours

Brazil has had 12,085 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, and 411 deaths from Covid-19.

The South American country has now registered 20,177,757 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 563,562, according to government data, in the world's third worst outbreak outside the United States and India and its second-deadliest after the United States.

Delta variant pushes US cases

Cases and hospitalisations in the United States are at a six-month high, fuelled by the rapid spread of the Delta variant across swathes of the country grappling with low vaccination rates.

Nationwide, cases have averaged 100,000 for three days in a row, up 35 percent over the past week, according to a Reuters tally of public health data. Louisiana, Florida and Arkansas reported the most new cases in the past week, based on population.

Hospitalisations rose 40 percent and deaths, a lagging indicator, registered an 18 percent uptick in the past week.

The intensifying spread of the pandemic has led to cancellation of some large high-profile events. One notable exception is an annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, which has been proceeding as planned.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies